Monday, June 30, 2008

A Winters Weekend At Home!

saturday 28th: Today was a Beechmont day with about 20 hang gliders and about 15 paragliders. The wind was a good 10-15knts early and many took advantage of the soarable conditions launching early. After some ridge soaring I went over the back of the hill low with Cam and Gabor and we were rewarded with a leighside thermal to base. We top up and start heading west toward the Kerry valley.

Gabor does a long glide dodging thermals and will soon land in the keery valley. Cam foolowed me and we climbed back to base before crossing the valley to mahomet. I got a good climb there but cam missed it and after 20 mins of scratching around he eventually landed at Laravale.

A wedgie is after me..

I was starting to get cold and now their were no more drivers heading west so I opted to start heading back towards launch. I did a detour up the kerry valley trying to stay slightly upwind for the glide back into beechmont into the wind. This worked well for a few thermals but then I ended up low in the O'reillys valley. I was then forced to head north down the ridge for some sun my last hope of lift to get me home. Sure enough I was rewarded with a 500fpm climb back to 4,500ft asl, this was enough to get me back to launch.

There were still lots of pilots on launch and some doing sled rides to the bomb out as the wind had dropped off. Leeroy then talked me into doing a face landing back on Beechmont launch. With a hill full of spectators and pilots I come racing into the steep slope and do a big roundout landing 2/3 of the way up the hill.

So I flew for 2hrs 30 mins and completed a 70km triangle on nearly the shortest day of the year in the middle of winter.

Sunday 29th: Today was a very light wind day which had everyone lost on where to takeoff to get up. Many of started at Beechmont then the group split and went 3 different ways. Leeroy took a few of the new boys towing as this was looking like the best option to ensure getting to cloudbase. There were a bunch of pilots setup on tamborine and then the rest of us went to Flying Fox launch.
I arrived on Flying Fox launch to see about 10 paragliders setting up, so I quickly grab my glider off the roof and set up.

Ant cranking up over O'reillys valley.

Enda was with me and he was flying his paraglider so he was setup and now running off the hill watching me stuff battens. He hits a good climb and starts skying out and soon I follow. Took off went right and went straight up to 5,000ft.
I was racing the Tambo guys to cloudbase so I call them on the radio to see how their going. I was informed that they were still standing on the hill waiting for a big cloud shadow to dissapear. The guys were now just starting to tow behind Leeroy and they will be the next ones to reach cloudbase.

Looking south from the tow field.

I flew over to Beechmont then back to Hincliff's launch then out to the tow field to meet up with some of the novices. I flew around with Joel and Tim for awhile near the chicken sheds before the left for their goal of Baudesert. I then flew to Tambo and past it north about 10kms towards Beenleigh under some convergence cloud. Some of the guys had launched from Tambo but none of them had escaped the Bombout field. A lot of them were packing up on the hill as I flew past at cloudbase.

Clearly you have to watch this..

Ant was going for a reflight after only flying about 5kms from the tow field. I decided to go back and join up with him for a late afternoon flight. We hooked up and flew south towards Witheren where there was some big cloud streets heading south. We managed to get a good climb and soon we were at 5,400ft enjoying the winters weekend. We continued south under the cloud for awile then turned around flew back to Hincliff's where my car was.

Cranking up at 5,000ft looking south from Witheren.

I had a great day out doing in total about 80kms and spending 4 hrs in the air. Joel flew to rathdowney on his sonic (40kms) and most of the others Novices apart from Ant landed at Goal Baudesert. This was awesome weekend of flying you just had to be in the right spot at the right time to take full advantage of our endless skies full of clouds.